peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27


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Precious Socks

It was when my oldest boys were toddlers that I fell in love with children’s books.  I could sit for hours with them nestled on the couch with a stack of fresh finds from one of our favorite places…the library.  It’s where I discovered the brilliance of Beatrix Potter and Eric Carle.  I learned how wonderful were illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats and Kevin Henkes’ hilarious Hooway for Wodney Wat! along with books about country living like A Year at Maple Hill Farm.  I love the authors who seem to get it just right.  A great children’s book can just about cure what ails you some days.

Knit socks

Last winter, after two bouts of sickness had run through our entire family, I was weary.  Concerns for many things weighed on my mind–health at the top of the list, but certainly not the only thing concerning me.  We had Warm as Wool from the library.  Recuperating on the couch, we read together about a pioneer mother who had real concerns for her family.  Cold, hungry and faint, her children looked to her for comfort.  One particular illustration instantly brought me up short.  I recognized the anguish in her eyes as she wondered how their family would manage to survive such a grave situation. Though my situation was concerning and real, it certainly didn’t compare.

This sketched and shaded mother knew the toil of caring for a family.  She bore the burden of her childrens’ hungry gaze which inquired of her for direction and comfort.  As I am prone to do when a book teaches me a lesson, my voice choked up and tears flowed down my cheeks. 

I held my children in my arms in our warm, heated home on our worn and welcoming couch.  We were ill, but we were very well.  There was food in our pantry and dinner in the oven.  My heart was suddenly grateful that my light and momentary troubles were just that.

In the story the family acquires one sheep and later a flock.  From their wool, the mother is able to knit precious, warm socks and sweaters for her family whom eventually thrive in their pioneer life.

Knit socks

These socks for Amelia took me an entire year to knit. One is bigger than the other. They are knit with the wrong type of yarn. And the toes are a bit lumpy. There is plenty wrong with them, but she loves them. And I do too. I love that I had the luxury of taking a year to knit them. I love that though they are different sized, they are finally finished and they both fit her feet. I know they aren’t as warm as wool, but they are pink so that makes up for their lack of gain.

I am afforded so many luxuries as a woman of this age. Why knit socks that take a year? Why not just buy some? I guess I’d like to think if I had to, I could knit some warm things for my family too. But I’m glad I don’t HAVE to.


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Hard to Gauge

I had big plans for some hats for the boys this winter.  I actually followed through and knit more than enough.  Unfortunately, not a single one fits right.  I used the dashing London Beanie pattern from Ravelry.  It looked great in the photos I saw, but either my gauge is too tight or my kids have funky shaped heads.    Whatever the case may be, I have 5 knit beanies that might look swell on some little babies in my life, but certainly not on my sons.

I tried various adjustments from needle size to straight vs. circular needles, to adding and reducing stitches.  Anyway ya cut it, the London Beanie and I are happily parting ways.

fits a baby

See how well Gabe’s hat fits my (then) 11 month old!

fits my 3 year old

And Ty’s is even too small for Jack Jack!

Jan Crafting

Incidentally if you have a go-to hat pattern that you would recommend, could you please share?  I’m not sure my wrists can handle any more knitting this winter, but I’ll keep it tucked away for next time.


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Sweaters

Sweater

Although I finished the sweater for B a couple months back, I never posted the finished photo. The pattern is from Knitty. I enjoyed making this so much. Knitting for babies is a joy.
Sweater 1.0
Here is the same sweater in a bit thicker yarn. I actually like this one better. It’s waiting for some pink buttons and blocking. I’m giving it to my cousin’s baby…I think. I did most of it in the van as we traveled this summer.
Sweater 2.0
I’m scoping out ravelry tonight for some hat patterns for the boys. They need some cool beanies. And as the weather breaks, I find myself wanting to get busy. Ah…midwestern September! you are sweet.


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sweating the sweater

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I began this sweater 6 weeks ago. I say that so casually as if it is merely one of many sweaters I have knit before. Uhum…it is my first-ever sweater and first-ever anything harder than winter outer wear (i.e. scarves, mittens, hats).

I can honestly say “so far so good”. I am, however, sweating the final assemblage. Two sleeves and a neckline are taunting me right now. I’ve come all this way only to realize I could be foiled by a neckline. Anything I haven’t known how to do thus far, I’ve been able to learn on You Tube. Thank you, Google, but I may have to call on some experts if that doesn’t go so well.

The pattern is from knitty.com and I love how it’s coming together. I’m working up a post on some of the handmade love we’ve received for B’s birth. But on a maternal level, I feel like this little sweater which began at the same time she did, will hold a sweet place in my heart. It’s where I cut my teeth on what I hope to be a long tradition of knitting for the people I love…from babes to big people.

I’ll have her model it when I finally finish it.


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Weekend Workshop

This weekend was pretty productive as far as creating goes. With temps hanging around ZERO, it felt like a good time to settle in. I finally finished my Maya Sling and am looking forward to using it very soon.
Sling Closeup
I need to review the tutorials a bit more because I’m a little nervous about user error. I plan on practicing with one of Amelia’s dollies in the coming days so I’m comfortable with how it works. I had such fun making this. If I knew a friend might want one, it would make a great and affordable gift.
Finished Sling

This photo isn’t the best, but you get the idea. I’m thinking it will be easier to use without the 8+ lb bowling ball in the tummy.

I also started a new cap–3 times!–for Luke, by request. The first time I ripped it out because it got askew. The second time one of my children ripped it out, and hopefully the third time will be a charm. The turquoise yarn I ordered online for a baby sweater from knitty.com. I am looking forward to starting it. Maybe in the hospital. I’m shooting for a 3-6 mo. sizing so I hope to finish in plenty of time. I’ll show the finished products when I get there. Stay Warm All!
On the Needles


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Picture Perfect

Look at these confectionery beauties! I claim no credit for these, except to be one of the grateful recipients!

Heavenly Cookies

Too good to eat

Thank you so much Sara! You ought to consider a side job. We have so enjoyed them…and have frozen some for later. Baby girl is loving them a little too much.

And here is the last of my Christmas knitting. I finished the boys’ scarves…and not a moment too soon. David’s was being bound off as we opened presents. And now I need to make a trip to the library for some new books and patterns. My hands suddenly feel idle with nothing in the works.

Final Stretch Knitting


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Need More Time

Santa Baby Ornaments

One of my goals for 2007 was to learn to knit. I’m thrilled I was able to learn, but now trying to apply this new craft to gift-giving leaves me realizing how I should have started MUCH earlier in the year.

These little Santa Baby Hats were a free pattern from Susan B. Anderson, author of Itty Bitty Nursery and Itty Bitty Hats. These will be the kids’ ornaments this year. I have a green felt tag to attach yet, with each of their names embroidered. These knit very quickly (in 1-3 hours) and were my first experience with double pointed needles. I think I’m getting closer to trying socks–which is what I most want to make at this point.

First Mittens

These mittens are for my daughter. What I didn’t know how to do I was able to learn on the wonderful You Tube tutorials that knitters post. For the first time, I understood the comfort that comes from using a quality yarn (I’ve been cutting my teeth mostly on the cheap stuff up to this point). The click of the needles is a soothing rhythm I quickly grew to love, but now I can appreciate the feel of the yarn more. My hands aren’t as clinched as they were when I first started, for one thing.

I still have 1 1/2 scarves (school colors for the boys) and 1 more pair of mittens (for our toddler) to squeeze in between wrapping sessions. If I don’t make it in time, I’m not going to sweat it.

Guess what I’m doing tonight?